This ride follows a 4WD track over the back of the Saw Back Range to the old mining town of Adamsfield and then back out again along Clear View Road.
It combines some fun, technical riding (and yes, a bit of pushing) as you climb up and descend along saw back track to Adamsfield, then you can enjoy a bit of fossicking before a much easier return route via Clear Hill Road.
The start of this track is roughly 120kms, (1.45 – 2hrs drive) from Hobart. Head out from Hobart through New Norfolk and on towards Mt Field National Park / Lake Pedder.
Maydena (85kms) from Hobart is the last place to stop for fuel and food. From Maydena it is another 32kms to the start of the track. To find the start of the track, watch out for the signed turn off to your left to Scotts Peak Dam (@30kms). Don’t turn down here, but continue on towards Strathgordon and the start of the ride is a further 1.5kms along the road on your right. There is room for a couple of cars here, but make sure you don’t block the access to the trail.
It is recommended that you ride this circuit in an anti-clockwise direction, even though it means the ride starts and ends with steep climbs. An out and back along the Saw Back track may appeal to those who prefer the trails.
If you're wondering, it might be possible to link through to Timbs Track or Churchills Hut, but I have personally only walked in as far as the Florentine River from the other end. The river is passable (on low volumes), but I have no idea about the state of the track between the Florentine River and Adamsfield, but I can say it would be a big effort, mostly pushing and carrying, to get out from the river to the road again. I have no idea how Sven Klinge did it.
This is a very remote area ride, there’s no mobile coverage and very few users, so be safe and let someone know where you are and when you’ll get back. There are a couple of shacks between Adamsfield and Clear View Road, but there’s no guarantee that anyone will be home.
I personally swear by my Spot Tracker and would recommend purchasing one to anyone who regularly heads off the phone grid, and there are no kick backs for me in saying this.
The track is fairly flat for the first kilometre, but then quickly starts heading uphill through some fantastic myrtle forests. Unfortunately these same forests keep the trail pretty wet, and slippery, and rutted. The result being that most mortals will find themselves quickly pushing and riding their bike up onto the plateau. Good news the steep section is it’s only about a kilometre, and there are some beautiful old myrtles to admire on the way as you catch your breathe.
As you emerge out onto the plateau, you get to enjoy the beauty of Ibsens Peak and the Saw Back Range to your right as you continue onwards to the high point of the trail at about 5kms from the start. Just past the high point, you’ll see “Welcome Rock” about 50 metres off to your left. There is an indistinct trail into this rock from its northern side, and it is a nice spot for a break and snack before heading onwards, or should I say downwards.
The next 6kms to the Adamsfield track junction are mainly downhill, and there’s some steep and scary sections which will be beyond novice riders, but it mellows the further you go, so don’t despair if it all seems too hard at first.
Turn left when you come to Adamsfield track, and about 400 metres further along you’ll come to a sign indicating you’re in Adamsfield. Go explore then come back to these notes. From the Adamsfield site, continue down along the track for about 2.3km when you will come into a network of tracks, you basically want to follow the track that fords the creek on your left, where you’ll emerge out into some shacks which may or may not be occupied. Continue through this site and up the gravel road, where you should emerge out onto Clear View Road after about a kilometre. Turn left and follow the road.
From here it’s just over 17kms back out onto the Gordon River Road. The track undulates up and down alongside Lake Gordon, and you’ll pass through some logging coupes along the way. Overall the riding is fairly quick, although it does start to kick up in the last 2kms just before you come back out onto the main road. At the main road, turn left and continue climbing for another 1.3kms up past Boyds lookout, before a final fast run down to your car.
A good fun track for experienced cyclists, but you need to be well prepared for emergencies.
The first pitch is not too bad, very scenic and damp, and then some up and down. Plateau is a lot of fun pumping up and down small rolling hills with stony/muddy pools at every drop. Some scrabbly descents are a bit iffy - I crashed on one and another was precipitous, with a nasty diagonal drop which I walked.
The roads near Adamsfield are blast and you really build up speed charging through small pools, really a lot of fun. We didn't find anything at Adamsfield itself, just an enormous field of ferns (we didn't visit mines) and had lunch at the excellent new shelter built near the huts.
Clear Hill road return is a mixed bag with very long exhilarating high speed downhills on a beautifully smooth pothole-free gravel road, and the two major climbs, which suck after a long tiring ride. My legs gave out at the final pitch and I walked the highway back up past Boyd lookout to the car, which was interminable and agonising.
Overall a fantastic, varied and challenging ride with plenty to see and do. I saw only about three good water sources, so bring plenty and of course emergency supplies (we had spare food, EPIRB, medkit etc) as there is no mobile signal and very few visitors.
The track provides some enchanting views over the Florentine, and some beautiful riding through Myrtle forests. There are some very tough sections with lots of climbing, as well as some hairy descents. At least an intermediate skill level would be required, especially as it is very remote. Be prepared, it...